Pollution concerns ‘unanswered’

Jane Bremmer (chairperson - Alliance for a Clean Environment) out the front of SITA Medicollect Incinerator)
Jane Bremmer (chairperson - Alliance for a Clean Environment) out the front of SITA Medicollect Incinerator)

Despite contacting the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) regarding incidents they believe are clear violations of the facility’s licence conditions, ACE Chairperson Jane Bremmer says their concerns remain unanswered.

But a DEC spokesperson told the Canning Times about reported incidents and said investigations underway would determine if further action was required based on findings of the investigation.

The Sita-Medicollect incinerator is a biomedical waste incinerator (the only one in the State) that is licensed to burn biomedical (hospital) and cytotoxic wastes.

Ms Bremmer said the group had reported two recent incidents, providing both written and video evidence but had received a ‘farcical’ response.

‘We have reported particulate plume exiting the stack in February, 2013 and also particulate pollution exiting the stack in 2012,’ Ms Bremmer said.

‘In 2011 we reported purple gaseous emissions exiting the stack and received a response saying that the company’s surveillance camera only records in black and white and this fact was used to dismiss complaints about the visible purple emissions.’

‘The lack of ambient air monitoring is unacceptable and means that this industry and their regulator cannot ensure that the stack emissions are meeting ground level concentrations that are safe for the public health, particularly children.’

A DEC spokesperson said matters of this nature were taken seriously and has directed Sita-Medicollect to conduct a complete review of its operations.

The DEC is currently reviewing the Sita-Medicollect licence and is considering amendments to it, which will be advertised in the first half of 2013 for public comment.